Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
The Tiv are an important people who number about 7 million in Nigeria and Cameroon. The Tiv are divided into two patrilineal descent lines from the original ancestor Tiv. This ancestor had two sons, Chongo and Pusu. A Tiv person is either a member of MbaChongo, descendants of Chongo, or MbaPusu, descendants of Pusu. These descent lines are further divided into several major branches. These branches are often further divided until one has the smallest unit of the lineage called the ipaven . One could be in an ipaven , but also a member of the kinship community called the tar . Like a few other ethnic groups in Africa, the Tiv have no kings, chiefs, or councils. The idea of leadership exists, but is based on age, personal influence, and industry. The idea of clans, kindreds, and family groups is a European classification of the Tiv structure. They are ...